She’d slip out the Baird family’s back door and trot down the street without a care. Most people gave her a wide berth.
So when a man rapped on Carol’s door, said he lived three blocks away and then asked for her dog’s name, Carol braced
“We have a sliding-glass door that we usually keep open in the summer,” the man began, “and every day for the last
That dog, Carol thought. “I’m so sorry,” she said. “I don’t know why Casey gets herself into such mischief. A lot of it’s our
“No, you don’t understand,” the man interrupted. “I came over to thank you.”
The man must have seen the confusion on Carol’s face. No neighbor had ever said anything positive about Casey before.
But not this neighbor. He explained that his father, who had Alzheimer’s, lived with him and his wife and needed
“I couldn’t remember the last time we had two hours to ourselves,” the man said. “And then, one day, your dog showed up.”
Casey wandered into the house through the sliding door and made straight for the man’s father. “She sat right beside him,
He saw his father turn to Casey and begin to pet her. He stroked her and stroked her, and fell peacefully asleep. “He
Casey returned the next day, and every day after that, as if she had an appointment to keep. Each time was the same.
“Yes, she is,” Carol said. “Casey!”
The big malamute trotted up, looking at the neighbor with searching eyes. The neighbor gave a gentle pat. “You must have
“Known what?” Carol asked.
“My father died in his sleep the night after Casey’s last visit. She knew her job was over.”